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Chas’s Fervor

By:Chiah Wilder

Chas’s Fervor




AN INSURGENTS MC ROMANCE

Chiah Wilder





Prologue





Lizzie Quinn washed her hands again, but no matter how hard she scrubbed, she couldn’t get the blood off her fingers. Looking under the bright lights above her bathroom mirror, she saw streaks of it filling in the grooves and ridges of her skin. There was just so much blood.

Her husband knocked lightly on the door. “Lizzie, aren’t you done in there yet? You’ve had the water running for the past hour.”

“Go away, Ian.” A stray strand of golden red hair flopped in her face, and she blew it away while she continued scrubbing. She’d never be able to get rid of the blood, or the horror of what had happened. Lizzie leaned over the chrome faucet and sobbed, her tears dripping into the sink below.

Lifting her head slowly, she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Redness around her puffy green eyes made her porcelain skin appear more translucent, and the dark circles under them made her look like an extra for a zombie movie.

How had a beautiful summer day morphed into such evil? If only she’d stayed home instead of following Ian earlier that day. It’d been Lizzie’s suspicions of him having an affair that had coaxed her out into the white sunlight, making her duck into alleyways, bushes, and storefronts to avoid detection.

When Ian had entered a large, two-story brick house in a genteel, suburban neighborhood, Lizzie figured her hunches had been right. She’d stood before the bright red door, battling with whether she should go in or leave. She’d decided to go in and catch her cheating husband in the act. Lizzie had turned the doorknob then stepped into the marble foyer, frigid air from the air conditioner washing over her as she’d listened for sounds of betrayal. Nothing. The silence had been deafening.

Then she’d heard it—a loud swoosh, like the winter wind, followed by a gurgle somewhere to the right of her. Walking down the large entry, she’d entered the kitchen, and shock slapped her in the face: Ian calmly opened a large plastic bag, placing a bloodied hunting knife in it. Lizzie looked from Ian to a woman in her thirties, who was crumpled on the hardwood floor as pools of red pulsed around her, soaking into her white cotton dress. The woman’s eyes were dull and lifeless like two blue marbles, sucking Lizzie into the dark, sunken holes. And as much as she’d wanted to tear her gaze away from the death in them, Lizzie couldn’t.

“What in the fuck are you doing here?”

Startled, she’d turned and caught Ian’s icy stare. Shaking her head, she’d padded over to the collapsed woman and knelt down, taking the lifeless hand in hers—the skin was still warm.

“What’s going on here? We have to call 911.” She’d glanced back at Ian, and his stone-cold indifference had frozen Lizzie to the spot.

“We’re not calling anyone.”

“But she’s dead,” she’d whispered.

“I know, that’s the point.” With precision, Ian had placed the wrapped knife in his briefcase, and Lizzie noticed he wore gloves.

Wide-eyed, she’d gasped. “You wanted to kill her? Why? Who is she?”

“I don’t know. I’m not paid to get to know the targets, just to eliminate them. You shouldn’t have come here. You’ve left all kinds of evidence.” Snapping his briefcase shut, Ian had straightened his tie and walked toward the backdoor. “You’ve made a mess of things, Lizzie.”

“I’m going to call the police.” Dialing the number on her phone, she’d stopped when Ian rushed over.

By the way he’d gripped her arm, bruises would be inevitable. In a low, hard-edged voice, he’d said, “You won’t call the cops unless you want to be arrested. Your finger and footprints are all over the place. Your hands are covered in blood, as well as your clothes. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in prison, you’ll go home, clean up, and decide where we’ll go for dinner tonight. Do you understand?”

With a fallen face, Lizzie had nodded, numbness overtaking her.

“Good. I’ll be home later. I’d give you a goodbye kiss, but I can’t chance any contamination from you.” At that, he’d left the house, closing the back door quietly.

After he’d gone, Lizzie leapt up and rushed over to the kitchen sink to wash her hands. Her racing mind told her to go to the police, but Ian’s words haunted her. He was right—her finger and footprints were everywhere. The only thing she could do was run. Run far and fast.

* * *

Another knock on the door brought Lizzie back to the present.

“Open up, we have to talk.”

Dreading the sight of him, she dried her hands and turned the doorknob. Ian stood just outside the door, a scowl on his lean, smooth face. As he grabbed her arm, she yanked it away and brushed past him, walking to the floor-to-ceiling windows which gave a beautiful view of the Chicago cityscape.

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